Trinidad and Tobago Olympic Committee (TTOC) Sportswoman of the Year, Cleopatra Borel, has thrown her support behind TTOC president, Brian Lewis, as he attempts to undertake several new developmental initiatives in the coming year towards achieving his ultimatum of “10 Olympic Gold Medals by 2024.”
Delivering the feature address at the organisation’s annual award ceremony at the National Academy for the Performing Arts (NAPA), Port-of-Spain, on Monday, Borel proudly aligned herself with Lewis’ plans.
According to Borel, such a goal is indeed achievable for the 1.4 million populated twin-island republic. The 31-year-old field athlete outlined five key steps to bolster the country’s future Olympic performances.
“The first step is to create a large pool of coaches, sport administrators, sport medicine personnel and support staff,” said Borel. “The staff ranging from volunteers to full-time professionals, will administer training programmes, keep our athletes injury free and provide other services athletes need to succeed.”
She added that the second step is to create a large pool of potential Olympic athletes. According to Borel, recruitment and talent identification by coaches is pivotal. Driving her point home, Borel reflected on the countless challenges she faced as an athlete coming out of Mayaro, where she was not afforded sporting opportunities.
“The next (third) step is to select our target Olympic events. This is necessary because it is quite challenging for any country to sponsor individuals in all Olympic events. This does not mean that we stop participating in a wide variety of events, but more resources must go towards targetted events. We must decide where we have the best chance to medal, and invest in those events,” she said.
Following her third revelation, the 2014 Central American and Caribbean (CAC) Games gold medallist saw it crucial for the Government, TTOC, Ministry of Sport and the public to assist in providing the basic needs of athletes.
In conclusion, the Commonwealth Games silver receiver said that to produce these hopeful heightened successes, it is imperative that TT’s athletes have the fundamental tools to practice their sport.